Beautiful
WESTMONT, ILLINOIS - APRIL 14: Shaine Casas reacts after winning the Men's 50 Meter Butterfly Final on Day 3 of the TYR Pro Swim Series Westmont on April 14, 2023 in Westmont, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Shaine Casas and Me: Remembering Beautiful Days

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Some 20 years ago I was driving up a highway in New Jersey when a new U2 song came on I had not heard called “Beautiful Day.” I remember the feeling when I heard it because right then I was only a few days away from finishing a grueling master’s of business administration program.

Hearing that song I remember feeling one of the most euphoric and satisfying mental and physical sensations filling me up. It felt beautiful. It felt like a beautiful day.

You see I never thought I would ever get a chance to get an MBA after a difficult undergraduate experience that left me believing I wasn’t very intelligent. I found it hard to graduate from college so there was no reason to think I would ever get a graduate degree.

But I got more focused and disciplined and excelled in that program and was feeling amazed at myself, frankly, for having worked so many hours, often late into the night and sometimes all night, to do the intellectually taxing work to get an MBA. All while working full-time.

I had made it and there was no denying or doubting or second-guessing what I had done. It was a beautiful day for reasons much deeper than the sun shining at that moment.

I think of that moment now as I recall watching Shaine Casas last night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials after he won the 200-meter individual medley and finally qualified for the Paris Olympics.

After so many years of imagining it happen, it doesn’t happen. After swimming slower than expected. After wondering if all the swimming he had done would ever result in being an Olympian. Self-doubt, I assume, was a part of it for him as it is for most if not all of us.

Watching him after realizing he had done it, I saw the unforgettable, spontaneous, purely ecstatic moment when he grabbed the starting block bars, put his head near them, and had a moment to himself.

It was a beautiful sight, a beautiful day, and a beautiful night for this swimmer. And beautiful for us to witness.

It was what striving to participate in the Olympics is about falling short, getting back up, trying again, and again, and again, and then one day if it all comes together making it.

Count me in as a Shaine Casas fan for life. No matter what he does at the Paris Games, he has shown me he can come through when it counts the most, and when he did he let go of how he really felt and that’s what life is all about.

Sammy Sportface

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Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here: Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
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Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:

Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out

Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here: Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page

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